Thursday Movie Picks: Bad Parents

I think we've all been there with this week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves - bad parents. When you're a kid at some point you've probably thought your parents were the worst. But do they have anything on the parents in these three films?

1) Matilda

As soon as I read this topic, Matilda instantly came to mind. Her parents were so shitty that she some how got telekinesis as a coping skill? How else do you explain that? I really like this film, even though it made me not eat chocolate cake for years. 

2) Mommie Dearest

This film is so over the top and always good for a laugh, but I forever hate the Razzies for nominating Mara Hobel for Worst Supporting Actress. She was a kid, and she wasn't that bad. Fuck them. Back on topic, according to this Joan Crawford was a shitty mother. 

3) Happiness

I caught this on TV again recently and it really is one of the most disturbing films I've ever seen. While the other parents on this list yell and hit, Dylan Baker's father takes all of that to another level and ends up being one of the grossest characters in the history of cinema. He really took a risk with this role. 

24 comments:

  1. We match!! I put off watching Matilda for years because I wrongly thought it was an innocuous kiddie flick but it's very dark and well acted.

    Though much of it has since been discredited the Joan Crawford presented in Mommie Dearest is a horrifying creation. I'm not saying she was an angel, she was a hard taskmaster and not really suited to motherhood but the smear job done by the daughter reeks of score settling. Unfortunately there are parents out there as bad or worse.

    I haven't seen Happiness though I've heard of it.

    Tons of choices this week but I expect a few will emerge as popular.

    The Manchurian Candidate (1962)-At the Korean War’s conclusion a group of American prisoners return home including Captain Marco (Frank Sinatra) and Sergeant Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey) who though thoroughly disliked by the men is hailed by them as a hero for vague reasons. Upon his arrival Raymond is met by his mother Eleanor Iselin (a mesmerizing Angela Lansbury) a political dragon and completely soulless monster who has internecine plans and has had Raymond brainwashed as an unknowing assassin to accomplish them. Marco senses something foul is afoot and tries to intervene before it’s too late.

    The Anniversary (1968)-Though widowed a decade ago Mrs. Taggart (Bette Davis) insists on her three sons and their families commemorating the event at the family mansion where she proceeds to shred their self-worth by taunting them with secrets she has discovered and savagely holds over them to hold them in her thrall. Bette as the one eyed Mrs. Taggart (she has designer eyepatches in colors matching her outfits!) has a whale of a time raising hell and chewing scenery right and left.

    Matilda (1996)-Adaptation of Roald Dahl story of Matilda Wormwood (Mara Wilson), a brilliant young girl plagued by her crude, coarse often vicious father (Danny DeVito) and mother (Rhea Perlman). On top of that Matilda is also tormented by Agatha Trunchbull (Pam Ferris), the evil principal of her school, a terrifyingly strict bully. When Matilda realizes she has telekinetic powers the tables turn and she begins to defend her friends from Trunchbull's wrath and fight back against her unkind parents.

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    1. I love it when we actually match on something! I haven't seen your other two picks, but The Anniversary sounds like something I'd see. I need to see more Bette Davis movies.

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    2. I think everybody needs more Bette Davis movies in their life!!!

      The Manchurian Candidate is an essential and especially now with the clueless reptile we have in the White House disturbingly prescient. I can't sing its praises enough.

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    3. I worked at a movie theater when the remake came out but even then I didn't check out the original. I need to

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  2. Love, love, LOVE Matilda and almost used it this week. She was always my hero because she just loved books so much, just like I did as a kid!

    Mara Hobel's line reading of "Jesus Christ" was so flawless that she shouldn't have gotten a Razzie nomination just for that. But I agree, she's not bad although Mommie Dearest kind of is. Diana Scarwid is pretty bad though as adult Christina.

    SO HAPPY someone else picked Happiness! Good lord, but Dylan Baker is incredible. The whole cast is, really, but he is a huge stand-out. I've never been able to see him as a nice guy since.

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    1. I was so happy to see you choose Happiness as well. I saw him in a ton of things before seeing Happiness so it shocked me to watch him play that creep.

      Mommie Dearest was awful but little Mara wasn't. Scarwild definitely was, she wasn't nearly as compelling as Mara.

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  3. We match with Mommie Dearest. I believe the daughter actually just from everything I have read about Joan Crawford. She has good points but her bad outweighs the good.. I have not seen Matilda because i am not Roald Dahl fan but I think i will see it now from what you wrote. Happiness sounds chilling but I want to see it.

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    1. Matilda is cute. Happiness is a very good film, it's just hard to watch.

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  4. Razzies nominating kids is such a rotten thing to do.

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    1. I think it's justified in a few cases but when the entire movie is bad it's not cool to pin it on the child who was better than nearly all of the adults.

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  5. I haven't seen any of these but I've been meaning to watch Matilda.

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    1. Matilda is adorable. It still holds up

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  6. I haven't seen 2 of your picks but so much yes for Matilda! One of my childhood favourites for sure!

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    1. My son watched it for the first time this year and loved it too. I was so happy.

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  7. Hey! We match on.... WHAT IS THIS? NO WIRE HANGERS!!!!! NO WIRE HANGERS EVER!!!!!!!! Goddamn, I love that film. It's so fucking insane. I've seen all 3 of those picks as they're perfect. Happiness is just down-right fucked up.

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    1. I think of that movie every single time I see a wire hanger.

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  8. Second time today I've seen Happiness mentioned. Somehow, I haven't even heard of it before now. You guys have certainly gotten my curiosity up. Surprisingly, I haven't seen Matilda, either. My daughters have. I just never bothered to watch that one with them. Almost picked Mommie Dearest because it epitomizes the category.

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    1. You should really check out Happiness, it also has a great Philip Seymour Hoffman performance in it. It's a tough watch, but a good one.

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  9. Matilda is a great and heart breaking choice that I haven't seen elsewhere. I have seen Happiness - I'll have to check it out.

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    1. Happiness is a tough watch but worth it.

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  10. Oh God, Happiness is SO disturbing. The way Baker plays that role is sooo damn creepy. Great choice for this list.

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    1. Thank you! He had to have balls of steel to accept that role.

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  11. Matilda had telekinesis...I totally forgot that bit. All I remembered were the mean parents, she liked to read and she had a nice teacher.

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    1. That's a bit part to forget lol. I suppose I can see how it's possible though considering it wasn't a huge part of the lesson.

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